Norman Joel Greenbaum (born November 20, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter. He is best known for writing and performing the 1969 song "Spirit in the Sky". he song, with its combination of 'heavy' guitar, hand-clapping, and spiritual lyrics, was released by Reprise Records in 1969. It sold two million copies in 1969 and 1970, and received a gold disc from the R.I.A.A. It has subsequently been used in many films, advertisements, and television shows. Although "Spirit in the Sky" has a clear Christian theme, Greenbaum was and remains an observant Jew. Greenbaum says he was inspired to write the song after watching country singers singing a song on television. Though Greenbaum is generally regarded as a one-hit wonder, several of his records placed prominently in the charts, including "Canned Ham" in 1970, which reached number 46 on the Billboard pop chart. In 1966, under the name Dr. West's Medicine Show And Junk Band, he recorded the novelty hit "The Eggplant That Ate Chicago". In the 1960s Greenbaum also performed under the name Bruno Wolf with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band.
Links To Peel
Norman Greenbaum distributed his records to several radio stations in 1966 including KMEN under the Dr. West's Medicine Show And Junk Band, where Peel who worked at the station discovered their music and played the record The Eggplant That Ate Chicago on his programmes. In an interview for Blind Date, published in the Melody Maker in 1971, Peel claimed the the band were incredibly nice and visited him in California all dressed like magicians and driving Rolls Royces. In 1970, Peel played Norman's successful Spirit In The Sky on his programmes, where the track became a hit in the UK at number one in the singles chart.
- Dr. West's Medicine Show And Junk Band
- 09 May 1970: The Eggplant That Ate Chicago (LP – The Eggplant That Ate Chicago) Page One POLS 017
- 14 November 2000: Look At Her Now (LP - The Eggplant That Ate Chicago) A-Go-Go
- Norman Greenbaum
- 07 February 1970: Spirit In The Sky (single) Reprise RS 20885
- 21 February 1970: Spirit In The Sky (single) Reprise RS 20885